27 Mar Practice What You Preach (Jn 10:37-38) by Pastor Don Bird
“If I do not perform my Father’s works, do not believe me; but if I perform them, even if you do not believe me, believe the works, so that you may realize and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.” ~ Jn 10:37-38 (full readings)
Pastor Don’s Reflections: Most of us grew up with sayings such as: “Practice what you preach.” “Talk is cheap.” “If you’re going to talk the talk, you better walk the walk.” “Actions speak louder than words.” In light of our Gospel lesson from John 10:31-42 today, I can only imagine that maybe these sayings have their roots in the wisdom of Jesus’ words as He confronted those who were charging Him with blasphemy and threatening to stone Him. The Jewish authorities were angry that Jesus had called Himself the Son of God. Jesus understood that words are something about which people can argue and disagree, but actions become the proof of the words that we preach. It is difficult for people to deny the fruits of our living. Jesus was saying to them, “My actions speak louder than my words.” And His word had a lot of power! Jesus invites all of His followers to live in the same way. As people who advocate for life, it can be easy for us to talk about the sacredness of all life and create solid rebuttals to those who may disagree. Jesus invites His followers to go deeper, to take it further. In what ways does our behavior and our living prove our belief in the sanctity of all life? From the everyday, seemingly mundane moments and conversations, to the most profound life-changing decisions and interactions, we are called to bear witness to the genuineness of our words. Talk is cheap and if we are not careful, our words can return empty. Our acts of goodness are the measure of genuine faith. It is not enough to just say we are for life, let’s continue to strive to live the life we say we embrace.
* Pastor Don Bird is the Lead Pastor at Hope United Methodist Church in Greenwood Village, CO. He lives in Aurora, CO with his wife of 18 years, Mandy, and his two children, Ethan and Haleigh..
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Through Christ our Lord,
Pastor Don Bird
1 John 3:18